JR MOTORSPORTS TEAM PREVIEW
No. 88 Realtree Outfitters Chevrolet/No. 7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
EVENT – Gateway 250 (200 laps / 250 miles)
TRACK – Gateway International Raceway (1.25-mile oval)
DATE – Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010
TV / RADIO – ESPN2 (coverage begins at 3 p.m. EST) / MRN (broadcast begins at 3 p.m. EST)
No. 88 Realtree Outfitters Chevrolet
“This is a weekend I’ve had marked on my calendar for a while now. Ever since JRM told me I’d get an opportunity to drive the No. 88 Realtree Outfitters Chevrolet, I’ve been really excited. I enjoyed working with Tony (Eury) Jr. and all the guys on the 7 car this year, but being able to get in the 88 car is an amazing opportunity. I just want to make the most of it at Gateway for Bill Jordan and all the good folks at Delta Apparel and Realtree Outfitters.
“Gateway has been a decent track for me, and I’m comfortable running there. My last trip there was with the 7 team earlier this year. We were fortunate enough to finish eighth, which was my best run for them. So I can’t think of a better place to try out the 88 car than Gateway. It’s a little weird to think this is the last time we’ll be racing there. Even though the series has been racing at Gateway for 12 years, it’s a neat track with a lot history in the sport.”
No. 7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
“I think things are slowly starting to come together for this Go Daddy team. It’s like we have bits and pieces of our race where we show real progress, but something always seems to come up. Our results over the past two weeks are evidence of that. It’s something that comes with the territory. It’s just the unpredictability of racing. We’ll be able to put the whole package together at some point, so we just need to continue to be patient. The good news is, the groundwork is definitely there.
“Pit road is another area we can work on. I felt like I was hustling (getting off pit road last week), but getting up to speed on cold tires is always a display of your comfort level with the car and your ability to take it to the limit and know where that limit is. I’m sure there’s some speed to be found on green-flag stops. We’ll have to look at it and see if there are places to improve for next time.”
JR MOTORSPORTS NOTEBOOK –
SPECIAL GUEST AT ST. LOUIS BLUES GAME – Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, will attend Friday’s National Hockey League (NHL) matchup featuring the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks vs. the St. Louis Blues. Patrick is a special guest of the St. Louis Blues, representing the NASCAR Nationwide Series and she will be ceremoniously dropping the puck to begin the game.
WISE IN THE 88 – Despite eight starts with JRM’s No. 7 team this year, Josh Wise will get his debut in the team’s flagship No. 88 Realtree Outfitters Chevrolet at Gateway. Wise becomes the ninth driver to pilot the No. 88 Chevrolet in 2010. The team has notched one win, seven top-five and 12 top-10 finishes on the year. They’ve also led a total of 110 laps, and are coming off consecutive top-10 finishes. Aric Almirola, Steve Arpin, Kelly Bires, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ron Fellows, Jamie McMurray, Greg Sacks and Elliott Sadler are all racers that have shared driving duties in the 88. The team is ranked eighth in owner points.
2011 PLANS UNVEILVED – JR Motorsports co-owner and general manager, Kelley Earnhardt announced last week that Danica Patrick will compete in the first four races of the 2011 Nationwide Series schedule with the No. 7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway (Feb. 19), Phoenix International Raceway (Feb. 26), Las Vegas Motor Speedway (March 5) and Bristol Motor Speedway (March 19). The races beyond that have not been determined, although Patrick will take on a schedule similar to that of her 13-race rookie campaign.
NO. 7 TEAM TO DATE – The No. 7 team has secured six top-10 finishes and led 42 laps with seven different drivers in 2010, including Aric Almirola, Steve Arpin, Landon Cassill, J.R. Fitzpatrick, Danica Patrick, Scott Wimmer and Josh Wise. The GoDaddy.com team is ranked 16th in 2010 owner points.
WISE AT GATEWAY – Wise has two starts at Gateway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, with his best finish of eighth coming in the No. 7 Chevrolet earlier this year. The 27-year-old also had an eighth-place showing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2007. His most successful race at Gateway was in an ARCA race in 2007 when he started from the pole with a track-record speed and led 35 laps en route to a second-place finish.
DANICA’S SEASON – Patrick embarks on her 10th race in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend at Gateway. In her previous nine starts, she’s earned a career-best finish of 21st at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Her season-best qualifying effort of 14th came two weeks ago at Auto Club Speedway.
WISE WITH JRM – Gateway marks Wise’s last stint driving for JRM in 2010. The native of Riverside, Calif. has earned one top-10 (Gateway), and six top-15 finishes driving the No. 7 Chevrolet in eight races this season. His average finish in those races is 13.1. Aric Almirola and Danica Patrick will finish out the remainder of the season in the No. 88 and No. 7 Chevrolets.
MEDIA AVAILABILITY – Patrick will be available to members of the NASCAR media on Friday, Oct. 22, at 12 p.m. CST in Gateway International Raceway infield media center.
FREE JR NATION CREW FAN CLUB – Dale Jr. and JR Motorsports encourage fans to join the JR Nation Crew Fan Club for free. The official fan club provides members with exclusive ticket and merchandise offers, in addition to JRM blogs, forums, and chat rooms to interact with other members of JR Nation. For more information, visitwww.jrnation.com.